Lynda Mapes And Guests Discuss “Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home”

June 1, 2021 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Online (see listing)

Join us for a conversation about the history and the future of Orca whales in Puget Sound. Registration required. Click here to register via EventBrite.

This panel conversation will include Jay Julius, former Chairman, Lummi Nation; Deborah Giles, Orca scientist at UW Center for Conservation Biology and Science Director of Wild Orca and Jason Colby, Chairman of the History Department at University of Victoria and author of Orca.

The event is presented in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company, Mountaineers Books and The Seattle Times. This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation. This event will be recorded for SPL’s YouTube Channel.


In Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home journalist Lynda V. Mapes explores the natural history of the orca and the unique challenges for survival of the Southern Resident group that frequents Puget Sound. These whales are among the most urban in the world, a focus of researchers, tourists, and politicians alike. Once referred to as “blackfish” and still known as “killer whales,” orcas were for generations regarded as vermin to be avoided or exterminated, then later were captured live for aquariums all over the world. With greater exposure, scientists realized how intelligent the mammal is and are learning about their matriarchal family groups, vocalizations, behavior, and different subspecies. Today only 74 Southern Resident whales are left, and they are threatened by habitat degradation, lack of Chinook salmon (their primary food source), relentless growth, and climate change. Can we reverse the trend?

This special project, co-published with the Pulitzer Prize winning Seattle Times newspaper, features stunning imagery by Times photographer Steve Ringman, as well as from partner organizations including The Whale Museum, NOAA, and Center for Whale Research.


LYNDA V. MAPES is a journalist, author, and close observer of the natural world. The Seattle Times has made a point of focusing on environmental issues for its readership; Lynda has been a key part in this effort, covering natural history, environmental topics and issues related to Pacific Northwest indigenous cultures. Her writing connects ordinary people and nature. In 1997, while working at the Spokesman Review in Spokane, Washington, she was awarded the Gerald Loeb award for a series on salmon recovery efforts in the Columbia Basin. It was the first time anyone looked at what the region had spent on recovery in the basin and what had resulted from those efforts. In addition to her newspaper career, she is the author of two books, Washington: The Spirit of the Land and Breaking Ground. Her first extended encounter with the Elwha ecosystem, dams, Port Angeles community and Lower Elwha Klallam tribe, this latter book laid an important groundwork of sources for reporting the forthcoming newspaper series and this proposed book on the Elwha. She lives in Seattle with her husband Douglas MacDonald.

Born and raised at Lummi Nation in Bellingham, Washington, Jay Julius spent a number of years in California as a professional golfer, speaker, and entrepreneur before returning home to Lummi. He has served as Chair of, and on Council at, Lummi Nation; has organized and executed Tribal, local, regional, and national campaigns. During his time on Lummi Nation’s Council, Jay led the Sovereignty and Treaty Protection Office; saw the launch of the Nation’s Salish Sea Campaign; sounded the alarm for the clean-up of the fish farm disaster; instigated the acquisition of culturally and economically significant lands; and was deeply involved in the fight against the proposed coal port at Xwe’chi’eXen/Cherry Point. He currently works as a strategic advisor and executive coach through Julius Consulting LLC.

Dr. Deborah Giles serves as the Science & Research Director for Wild Orca, and as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington—monitoring the Southern Resident killer whales’ health through non-invasive sampling with Eba, her highly-trained poop detection dog.

Jason M. Colby is associate professor of environmental and international history at the University of Victoria. Born in Victoria, British Columbia, and raised in the Seattle area, he worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska and Washington State. He is the author of The Business of Empire: United Fruit, Race, and US Expansion in Central America.

View in Catalog: Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home by Lynda Mapes

We can provide accommodations for people with disabilities at Library events. Please contact at least seven days before the event to request accommodations. Captions are available for all recorded Library programs.

For registration information and other questions, Ask Us or 206-386-4636.

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